March 23, 2019 - The Institute is facing significant challenges, but the primary goal is not to change - to preserve and improve the essential activity - physical medicine and rehabilitation, said Dr. Gordana Rajovic, director of the "Dr. Simo Milošević" Institute at the Academy marking the 70th anniversary of the health-tourism centre in Herceg Novi. The event was held last night at the Congress Hall of this institution.
Recalling the historical development of the renowned health and rehabilitation facility in Igalo, she pointed to the importance of health tourism
, as an influential economic factor for the development of this area and Montenegro.
The significance of the Institute over the last 70 years is immutable. Igalo has become a brand on the health tourism map. As the bath spa of 1949 evolved, Igalo was built and developed with even higher intensity. No less important is the Institute to the Municipality of Herceg Novi and Montenegro as well. This fact has to be emphasized as the interconnectedness that creates the responsibility of everyone in the time before the Institute.
Dr. Rajovic said that the guideline to administer natural healing factors in combination with modern medicine methods follows the technological advances and promotes conditions for the application of therapy and the stay of patients.
"Preparation, treatment, and rehabilitation of a whole range of illnesses and the willingness of people to travel to maintain and preserve their health and the ability to deliver them to a high level with the tradition and renown of the Igalo Institute is a perspective that should never be questioned," said Rajovic.
All this implies much more effort and willingness to preserve the full natural healing properties of Igalo.
"On the establishment of today, thousands of employees have contributed to what we are. People have led this house with vision, knowledge, operability, and abilities, and daily work, for some and all of life, made the patients who used our services be our greatest ambassadors," Dr. Rajovic said.
During the academy, two documentary films about the Institute of the former and then about the modern building of this institution, Stevan Koprivica, were presented. His pocket also produced a smaller piece of work that ignored the values of the health giant such as the Institute, its significance not only for Herceg Novi but even much broader and in the time of privatization. The role was entrusted to the actress Dubravka Drakić, who presented a well-presented patient at the Institute, how much quality service the beneficiary can get, and that there is no price for it. Introducing himself as a customer, he asked how much the amount of the Institute was? How much the sea costs or the maestral, the smile of the employee, the expertise, the doctor's knowledge, every good step a man makes, claiming that she, as a common man "is not in the steam but love, is also a forever." In the music section of the academy, Andrijana Božović performed with Sreten Ćupuć on guitar.
The academy was attended by representatives of the Government and the Montenegrin Assembly, the diplomatic corps, former and current doctors and other medical workers of the Institute, and Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic sent a telegram of congratulations.
In a meeting with journalists, after the academy, the Minister of Health Dr. Kenan Hrapović pointed out that the Institute is a brand that lasts and continues in Montenegro and this area.
Most importantly, and what we should most appreciate is the cadre. We can always buy equipment, build buildings, but what is invaluable is knowledge, which the Institute has and will have. The boxer himself is the one who promotes. There is also the Faculty of Physical Medicine where new generations of quality staffs are emerging. It is a guarantee for the quality of health care not only of Montenegrin citizens but it is an internationally recognized brand. I am in a position to talk to the numerous representatives of foreign countries lately who are interested in sending their citizens to such a place to get quality health care.
Asked to comment on the privatization of the Institute that followed, Minister Hrapovic pointed out that "whatever happened in the coming period, Montenegrin citizens have high-quality health care at the Igalo Institute as well as so far," he said, "the government and the state of Montenegro will provide them."
On the fifth tender for sale of 56.48% of the shares of the Institute, the only offer came from the consortium of the Czech company Philibert and the Montenegrin hotel-tourist company of Olive Villa, Žarko Rakcevic, who did not want to comment on the course of negotiations until the decision of the tender commission and the official choice of bidders. In addition to the EUR 10 million for action, they also offered 28 million investments exclusively to existing facilities at the Institute. The Institute has 607 full-time employees and another hundred seasonal. They expect that they will continue to work following the general and branch collective agreements after the completion of the privatization process.
Despite the difficulties, the Institute achieves good business results, introduces new treatment and rehabilitation programs, refurbishes equipment, fosters scientific research and is expanding into new markets, the press conference revealed.
This health tourism facility is one of the few in the region with so many traditions and recognition around the world.
The Institute was opened in 1949 by the decision of the Government of the Republic of Montenegro as a bath and climate spa, and Dr. Svetozar Živojinović, a great enthusiast, a connoisseur, and advocate of the application of natural healing factors in treatment, was given great credit for it.
The former health resort is located practically on the ice, in the area called Stara Banja today. Soon after that, Jankovic adapted to a permanent facility, physical therapy facilities were built, and the health center was renamed the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Then, a children's department was established, which by the end of the '80s was the largest center for children's rehabilitation. Under the leadership of Nikola Mračević, in 1973, the first phase was built and in 1982 the second phase, +the Mediterranean Health Center.
In 1976, the Institute of Higher Physical Therapy was established, which was promoted to the Faculty of Applied Physiotherapy in 2004 and is now an organizational unit of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montenegro.